A new mission, the concept of which was proposed by NASA, involves the use of a small satellite that will fly very close to the surface of the moon, while remaining suspended on a 180-kilometer tether to another satellite in high-orbit. One of the scientific goals of the mission is to find out the reason for the appearance of strange formations in the form of curls (pictured), which were found in more than 100 different places on the surface of the Moon.
In May, NASA announced that it intends to fund 10 conceptual projects for new missions, including small satellites, called “kubsatami.” Recently, the agency published new details about one of these conceptual projects – the mission of Bi-sat Observations of the Lunar Atmosphere above Swirls (BOLAS).
This mission will include two small satellites, each roughly the size of a shoe box, connected vertically in flight over the lunar surface with a long, thin rope and thus simulating a “celestial crane” type design. Kubsat, located at one end of the leash, will turn around the moon at an altitude of 189 kilometers from its surface, which will allow the second, lower cousar to move at an altitude of only 9.6 kilometers above the surface of the moon, using the minimum amount of fuel.
“Curls” on the surface of the moon are areas within which the surface material looks lighter, less eroded, compared to the material of adjacent areas of the surface. Scientists suggest that the reason for the appearance of “curls” lies in the magnetic properties of this “light” material, which provide him with some degree of protection from the action of the solar wind (flows of high-energy charged solar particles), causing relatively rapid erosion of rocks on the Moon.